Tutorial – Create a Free Blog in WordPress
You have the decision to capitalize on your love for writing and so start a blog. That’s great. In this post, I am going to walk you through the process if starting a WordPress Blog for free all by yourself.
WordPress.com as you know is a free platform for bloggers where you can post your articles to the public freely. Most people start their blogging career on free sites like WordPress before they go on to personal domains. You can literally talk about anything on a WordPress blog except porn, betting, and pharmacy related topics.
If WordPress.com is so cool and free, why do people eventually move to their own website? Well, it’s actually easy to explain. Your blog is a sub-domain of wordpress.com so you are pretty much blogging for them in part. See why your blog URL has “. wordpress.com” now?
Let’s get started
Don’t panic. Everything we are doing together is just five steps explained in detail. To start, go to WordPress.com and click the Get Started button and you would be directed to the first step towards setting up your blog.
Step One: Choose the type of layout you want for your blog
You are presented with four options for the layout of your homepage. The most common format for blogs is “Start with a Blog”. For a business, you have the option of a portfolio or an online store. Those are most appropriate for you as a business.
Step Two: Choose a Theme
WordPress.com doesn’t let you stress too much about colors and fonts so they have kindly provided you with hundreds of themes to choose from. If you find a theme that is close enough to what you would like your blog to look like, select it. Don’t worry, you can always customize it according to your personal taste.
Step Three: Choose A Domain Name
This part is kinda tricky. A lot of names have been taken so it is hard to find something that is unique. Adding numbers and word combinations to your proposed name. Try not to end up with something ridiculous like peterjohn1223345.wordpress.com, you get the idea.
Buying a domain name
If you want to buy your own domain name, you probably should not buy one from WordPress.com. You don’t have to pay for a domain name though to use WordPress for blogging. Buying one is something to consider for the long term.
What’s in a name?
It’s usually safer to keep looking around until you find a domain name that is suitable. Think about it for a bit, ask a few friends and when all else fails, use your real name. The plus side of using your real name is that you can write about anything.
Step 4: Pick a plan
Once you’ve finally decided on a name for your blog, the next step is to select a plan for your blog. Select the “Start with Free” option. Okay, there are paid options calling out to you like sirens. You really don’t need to be paying for a blog plan right now.
Step 5: Create Your Account
Use the email you want all blog-related information to be sent to. Username doesn’t really matter. Find one that you like and it’s unique. It’s not your blog name, just for login purposes.
Passwords are supposed to be strong. Pick one with special characters and different numbers. Rule of thumb is to use a combination of capital letters, small letters, numbers and special characters. You might be worth a million dollars sooner than you expect. Secure your blog.
You’re almost done!
Logging in to WordPress
Now head over to your email to verify your email address before you can start your blogging career.
You should have an email from WordPress.com waiting for your approval. Click the “Confirm Now” button and once that is done, you’re ready to login to your WordPress dashboard.
Personalizing your blog
Once you’re logged in, you immediately see the WordPress dashboard which is pretty easy to use. It was designed that way so that blogging is easy for everyone. Remember the theme you selected when you were about to start? Now is a great time to change it if you want to and it is easy.
Click on the “My Site” which opens a list of options, select “Themes” which would take you to an extensive gallery of both paid and free things. Now, one thing to bear in mind is that no matter how pretty the paid theme looks, chances are you will find a free alternative
One of my favorites is Baskerville 2. It’s quite nice with great contrasts. There are loads of free themes. You can download a lot of them and try out the looks. Eventually, you would find one that best expresses your blog. After a few tweaks, you’d most likely go easy on the tinkering.
Adding new pages and blog posts.
To start a new post or add pages to your blog, the left sidebar has a Publish tab. There you would find Pages, Media and Blog Posts. Click “Add” and you are set to begin preparing your first blog post.
Once you are done creating the content, click on “Publish” to make it go live. It really is that simple. You’ve just published your very first blog post. You can also add tags to your post to make more discoverable.
Publishing posts in the easy part. The hard part is promoting your blog and driving traffic by sharing it with your friends and family. Social media also makes for excellent publicity.
FAQs on How to Start a WordPress Blog
1. Is it possible to start a WordPress blog offline?
You must be online to go through all the steps. You can create content offline but you must be online to publish your post.
2. How much does starting a WordPress blog cost?
WordPress.com has a basic package that is totally free. However, there is a premium package that costs $99 per year. If you want to self-publish, you can register for free and pay for hosting and the domain for a small amount every month.
3. Can I make money on my blog?
Yes, you can but it requires a lot of work to make money on your blog. You will need to drive plenty of traffic to it and build up a membership base which you can then offer products and services.